They made us cry. They made us smile. They made us hug the random guy on the couch next to us. These 7 companies made their mark by playing straight to our hearts.
Over the years, many a Super Bowl commercial has used humor to get our attention. But every so often, a company goes another route and plays to our emotions. Appealing to our sense of patriotism, our love for our families or our weakness for puppies, these ads are often the ones that stick with us the longest.
So remember: Don’t forget to have a box of tissues nearby during Super Bowl 50. You never know when the next tear jerking ad might come on screen and hit a tender spot.
7. GM’s “Robot” (2007)
There’s something that really strikes a chord in the 2007 Super Bowl commercial. Watching a mechanical robot get fired and contemplate suicide might seem like an unlikely way to make us cry, and yet in a brief moment GM succeeded in creating a persona in the robot that all of us back home really connected to. Watch what happens when this poor robot makes one mistake at his work for GM, loses his job and hits the pavement in search of work. The message is clear – GM does not tolerate any errors, even for the cutest robots!
6. Ram Truck’s “Farmer” (2013)
Ram’s 2013 Super Bowl commercial played tribute to the American farmer. The ad has no video. Instead, a series of stunning still shots paints an unforgettable tapestry of the life on an American farmer while Paul Harvey’s famous 1978 speech entitled “So God Made a Farmer” plays in the background. Farmers are honored as hard-working, dedicated, family-oriented men and women. The backbone of America, they are strong and tough, yet sensitive and loving.
5. Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” (2015)
In this sentimental Budweiser ad, we see the meaning of true friendship – and it doesn’t have to be between humans to be compelling. We watched as a graceful Clydesdale finds his best bud, an adorable poppy who has lost his way one rainy evening. In doing so, he proves his loyalty to his 4-legged friend and to his owner who is desperately searching for the lost pup. Sure, Budweiser has gone down cheesy road before, but it works!
4. Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” (2014)
Does puppy love have to be between two puppies? Budweiser says no. In this 2014 Super Bowl ad, an adorable golden retriever puppy and a Budweiser Clydesdale fall madly in love, against all odds. Of course as in real life, love perseveres, for the puppy and the horse – and potentially for their owners as well. The clever hashtag? #bestbuds
3. Microsoft’s “Empowering” (2014)
Who gives sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, voice to the voiceless and healing to the sick? No – this isn’t a sermon at Sunday school. It’s a 2014 Microsoft Super Bowl commercial reminding us of the incredible power and advancements of technology.
2. Jeep’s “Whole Again” with Oprah Winfrey (2013)
As viewers across the States tuned into the biggest television event of the year, Jeep caught our attention with this patriotic tribute to American soldiers. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, the 2-minute commercial focuses on the importance of family, while creating a sense of suspense and anticipation. As the crowds were glued to their TVs on Super Bowl Sunday, wondering if the Ravens would beat the 49ers, the commercial forced us to take pause and remember all the families across the country waiting for far more significant news about when (and if) they’re beloved soldier would come home.
1. Nationwide’s Public Service Announcement on Childhood Death (2015)
Having a powerful, emotional ad is not always a recipe for success. Last year, Nationwide received considerable backlash for this ad, where they killed an innocent child before our very eyes. And we were just trying to watch a football game. The ad sent mothers and fathers alike grasping for the tissue box.